Man honored for helping abuse victims

February 28, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

An alarm company owner and retired state trooper who has donated hundreds of hours to protect potential targets of domestic violence received a first-time award yesterday for "outstanding achievement" from the Carroll County state's attorney.

James S. Emerick, 50, president of Risk Management Consultants in Cockeysville, has been installing portable alarm systems for 5 1/2 years for those whose spouses have been charged with a crime or who have obtained protective orders against them, said Gary Cofflin, the domestic violence unit investigator.

"People call us whose lives are in danger," Cofflin said, recalling their first case together, in which a Hampstead-area woman said her two children would finally be able to sleep at night. "I almost cried."

In that case, the man had put a gun to the woman's face and tied her up with rope and duct tape.

In 2001, he said, they installed a system after a man charged with assaulting his former girlfriend came to her Westminster-area home intoxicated one night and took a baseball bat to the doors and windows.

Cofflin has worked with Emerick in the program that began in 1997 with a $10,000 grant from the Carroll commissioners for 10 portable alarm systems, which have been used about 20 times, he said. They include car alarms and portable alarms, as well as home alarms, and usually are installed for three months.

Emerick, a Carroll County resident who was a state trooper for more than two decades, charges nothing for the monitoring service.

"It provides an invaluable service to victims of domestic violence that may still be in peril," said State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes, who presented Emerick with a plaque yesterday. "It's a service the citizens of Carroll County may not be aware of."

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